According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. Mario Roberto Jiu--Jitsu is hoping to help bring that statistic down by offering a free female-self defense seminar this Saturday.
"Awareness is our number one concern here because if you're aware you can snap out of certain situations that might be potentially dangerous," said Head Instructor and Owner of Mario Roberto Jiu-Jitsu, Mario Roberto. "Prevention of the crime is the number one thing we're going to focus on."
Fighting off an attacker may sound difficult, especially if the victim is smaller, but that's where Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu comes in.
"So Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu started in Brazil and the goal of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is to use technique against a stronger opponent," said Roberto. "So we teach some situations where if the fight goes to the ground, which is common in sexual attack that the woman can use technique and leverage against the stronger opponent to defend themselves and prevent the attack."
It became apparent to Roberto that having a seminar like this is important
"We have a few female students and they strongly told me that no one knows about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu," said Roberto. "It's not a very well known martial art and we do believe there is a need to get the word out there and increase the awareness of potential sexual predation and domestic violence."
The hope is that this seminar will open some people's eyes to the possible dangers.
"Well most of us walk around and we're not aware of our surroundings," said Jiu-Jitsu student, Megan Maselli. "We're not aware of what a man, or any attacker could do to us. So just getting a sense of what could potentially happen and what you could potentially do to help yourself out of a situation is just vital now-a-days."
If you've never done something like this before, you won't be the only one.
"The majority, I would say about 90% of the women who show up, have never not only been here at this gym, but they have never done any martial arts of any kind," said Roberto.
Despite this, no one should feel like an outsider or under prepared.
"Everyone is very welcoming," said Maselli. "Everyone has to start from somewhere and it's usually from nothing, especially as a woman, you don't really think of things like this to do and everyone here is just so welcoming to any type of experience."
The free Female Self-Defense Seminar is Saturday, January 7, 2017 from 10am-12pm at Mario Roberto Jiu-Jitsu.
It is open to all women ages 13 and older.
Attendance is limited, for more info on the event and how to attend, click here.